March 2018

Hilton Head Christian Academy Presents The Sound of Music

Author: Special to CH2

The von Trapp Family Singers
(from the left to right, top to bottom rows)
Caden Becker as Friedrich,Samantha Norton as Leisl,Addeline Lentz as Louisa,Daniel Harrington as Captain von Trapp,Elliott Lentz as Maria Rainer,Emmeilia Lentz as Brigitta,Christian Becker as Kurt,Millie Gilbreath as Marta, and Ella Kate Green as Gretl.

The Hilton Head Christian Academy Performing Arts Department takes us on a journey through the hills of Austria during WWII and over the mountains of Switzerland with a delightful production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound of Music. The skilled performers are supported by a live orchestra, impressive set design, and arduous choreography. The most infectious moments however, belong to the von Trapp children, with their happy yodeling, hopping on a bed to escape a scary storm, and learning to sing “Do-Re-Mi” from their new nanny, Maria. The acting and singing is well-executed and endlessly charming.

The von Trapps have some undeniable chemistry and seemingly effortless harmonies, largely due to some clever casting. Five of the actors are real-life siblings! Sisters, Elliott, Addeline and Emmelia Lentz play the roles of Maria, Louisa and Brigitta von Trapp, respectively. Brothers, Caden and Christian Becker play the parts of Friedrich and Kurt von Trapp. The oldest von Trapp, Liesl is played by Samantha Norton and the second youngest, Marta, by Millie Gilbreath. Playing the part of Gretl, the youngest von Trapp, Ella Kate Green, bears an incredible likeness to her movie counterpart. The stern disciplinarian-turned-loving-father, Captain von Trapp, is brought to life by Daniel Harrington.

“Everyone in the cast is so talented, and I think people will love watching how we all portray the iconic characters,” Gilbreath said.

The cast of 35 students range from second to twelfth graders. Clay Holmberg (Max), Jacey Robinson (Elsa) and Emma Stewart (Mother Abbess) join the talented cast in delivering uncanny authenticity to their characters.
“I feel like my character (Liesl) is sort of like the mom they don’t have, but she still wants to act like a kid,” Norton said.

For Harrington, the challenge of playing Captain von Trapp is hitting all the high notes. “I have big shoes to fill…you know, Christopher Plummer!” he said.

“Playing a von Trapp is awesome and fun!” Emmelia said, describing her character, Brigitta, as “sassy.”
The favorite von Trapp character amongst the cast is unanimously Maria. “Maria is a fun, caring, passionate firecracker,” Elliott said of the character she plays. “It has been a fun experience being Maria, but working with my sisters and learning all the material has been a challenge.”

The beloved story of Maria and the von Trapp family has entertained audiences for decades with its award-winning score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Every Mountain,” “Edelweiss,” and title song, “The Sound of Music.” Based on the true story of the von Trapp Family Singers, this play represents a tale of growth and hope amidst the terror of World War II. The spirited nun, Maria Rainer, has trouble fitting into the rules of Nonnberg Abbey and is sent by Mother Abbess to serve as governess for the motherless von Trapp children. Maria transforms the home from a somber place to one filled with joy and music, while winning the hearts of the children—and their widower father Captain von Trapp.

Maria and the captain marry, and when they return from their honeymoon, they learn that Austria has been taken over by the Nazis, and the retired captain is asked to report for service in the Navy. When the Nazis show up to take von Trapp away, a family singing engagement buys the family time to make their harrowing escape to Switzerland.

“All my family knows the movie, and they are excited that I am in it. My favorite part is that I get to be on stage a lot.” Green said.

“People love this show because it is a classic.” Caden Becker said. “Our mom loves that movie. It is her favorite.”

“We watched the movie when we were really young. It was long, and I didn’t even know there was a whole other half!” Christian Becker added with a laugh.

“I remember watching it for the first time with my grandma,” Elliott Lentz said.

After stepping into their roles, the cast has come to admire the von Trapps. “They [von Trapps] are always together through the toughest of times,” Norton said.

“The captain goes through hard times; he becomes cold and distances himself from his kids. But in the end, Maria really changes things, and he returns to himself,” Harrington added.

Similar to a real family, Norton admits feeling like she is organizing people and helping to keep the peace.
“We actually do get along, considering we spend so much time together,” Gilbreath said.

“I think having our real siblings in the show makes this cast special,” Emmelia said.

For Green, being the youngest seems to have its perks, “Everyone is very nice to me!” she said.

The artistic team is directed by Michelle McElroy, with music direction by James Berry and choreography by Patti and Cassie Maurer.

“This is a show our creative team has wanted to tackle for years. With several successful seasons under our belts, paired with an all-star lineup of kids, we finally felt the time was right,” McElroy said. “To me, it feels like a real family. They all get along, even though there is some bickering. I think this show is special to many families because everyone has grown up watching it together.”

The romantic musical, runs March 22-24 at The Seahawk Cultural Center. Tickets can be purchased online at

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